Tag: Indiana Kirchenbauer

I’m Not Here For Myself

Standing there in the dimly lit hallway that leads to the maternity department, I watched as my son-in-law came through the door to announce the birth of my new grandson.  Grandson number two had made his appearance. Brody Michael Kirchenbauer was born on July 9, 2013.  

As it was when my own children were born, the reality and truth of the great news he just delivered caused a small piece of “me” to fall off from the man I am.  The wonderful desire to become my grandson’s teacher, protector, provider and friend, suddenly overtakes any desire that I may have had for myself.

I am reminded once again that I’m not here for myself.

Grandpa and BrodyBut it is different for me than it is for my daughter and for my son-in-law.  They have the responsibility to raise him and while I don’t have that responsibility I still feel a sense of purpose and a responsibility to do what I can to help my grandsons reach their dreams and goals.

As this “small piece” fell away from me, a much larger piece had just fallen off of my son-in-law.  I look into his eyes. His eyes have changed.  If you didn’t look closely it would have been easy to miss.  It is something that happens when the weight and responsibilities of a father of a new-born son and a budding toddler come crashing down upon his shoulders, he suddenly seemed far less concerned about his own future and desires.  His eyes tell the story as personal goals suddenly seem less important.

It has happened since the beginning of time. The moment when you first hold that child in your hands for the first time, the bulk of your attention and hopes are now focused on someone else and not on yourself.   The joy of receiving a child into your life gives you something outside of yourself to hope for – someone to dream harder for than you dreamed for yourself.  There is no way to truly understand until that moment  and your heart desires change.

I’ve thought about my journey with my own children. And I can’t help but think back to another me I used to be all those years ago.  I was single with no kids. I saw all the new movies and every concert that came to town.  I played music at all hours without interference from the volume police. I traveled. I slept in. I had plenty of time with my friends, and a little more “me” money in my pocket.

I didn’t know it at the time but something was missing in my life. Clay and Brody

I began to understand it in new ways the day my son was born.  He was a gift to me… a key that unlocked perspective and wisdom I desperately needed if I was ever to become who I was meant to be. In fact, I believe it was downloaded into me the instant he wrapped his little hand around my finger.  Five little words came to my mind that had never been truer, and would change my life forever.

I’m not here for myself.

Do parents have a corner on this market? Do they get some greater opportunity at fulfillment than the rest of the world? Absolutely not! A child is not required. But for some of us, parenthood will lead us to one of the most important lessons we’ll ever learn.

I’m not here to attain or accomplish.  I’m not here to build a name. I’m not here to rise to the top of my field.  I’m not here for what I can earn or have.  I’m not here for myself.

This same resolution was seen in the eyes of my son-in-law as he delivered the great news of Brody’s birth as it was when Indiana our firstborn grandchild was born.  

I understand and appreciate the love we have for a child where we will lose ourselves, our dreams and desires for the hope that is found in having our children and grandchildren find theirs.

We find our purpose by laying down our self-focused hearts, minds and ambitions to offer the world what we have to give.  Hopefully, you and I will accomplish amazing things in our time. But in the end, most of it won’t hold the significance we think it might. We lose ourselves to find ourselves in our children. Our purpose and fulfillment are directly tied to how we can make the life of our children and grandchildren better than ours.  Ultimately our legacy will not be found in what we do but in what we leave for those who come behind us.

May I never forget that I’m not here for myself.

Welcome to the world Brody… your world will be filled with love from the Lee’s, the Sumner’s and the Kirchenbauer’s. 

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Moving On To The Next Stage of My Life

Indiana (Indy) William Kirchenbauer

This week has been such a great blessing in my life.  I have had the privilege to welcome my first grandchild into this world.  Indiana William Kirchenbauer entered into this world on June 28th, 2011.  What a wonderful blessing and I am so thankful for my daughter Crystal and her husband Clay for allowing me to be a part of this wonderful experience.   I am one proud grandfather.

The other experience this week was that on the 29th I turned 50 years old.  Baby “Indy” was quite a birthday present I might add.  I cannot think of a better present than the opportunity to hold my grandson on my birthday. 

As I held him in my arms, I was reminded of the story in the Bible of  Simeon.  Simeon was an old man in the Temple.  He had been given a promise from God that he would not see death until he would hold the baby Jesus in his arms.   He looked each day for this baby and each day seemed to pass without fulfilling this promise.  But he remained faithful and trusted God that this promise would come true.  Then the day arrived, he held the baby and with tears in his eyes he says,  “Now I can die in peace,” he continued, “for my eyes have seen Your salvation, 0 Lord.”  Simeon now had fulfilled the promise that was given him.  He did not die right away, but he knew that the salvation of the world was just held in his arms.  He was able to move on to the next and final stage in his life.  I can only imagine what joy he experienced when he finally held that baby and fulfilled God’s promise.  I felt that same joy when I held my grandson.  I now can move onto the next stage of my life.  My children are now all out of high school.  They are moving on with their lives.  Now it’s time for me to move on…move on into the next stage of my life.

I’m fascinated as I read the Bible.   I’m fascinated as I watch the narrative unfold in its stories.   Often, as I read, as I watch the story develop, it’s clear that God has stepped off the stage.   I watch as God steps back to let the characters of the story make decisions, take action and live out their lives.   And, at times God seems to be nowhere in sight.   Then, when all the choices are made, God comes back on stage to commentary the deeds of the story we have been reading.

I think God often does that in my life.   Seldom does He call from heaven to tell me, “Stop that!   What are you doing?   What are you thinking?”   In fact He’s never done that for me!   Instead, I have His word and from His word and the work of His Spirit in my life, I live out my play, stage by stage, act by act.  

There are times when I know God is there, on stage with me, but at other times He seems to step back….He allows me to stand or fall, to make decisions and then He returns and He challenges me about the choices I made through His Word.  Sometimes He confirms that I made the right decision…and at times shows me where I went off track.

There are stages in each of our lives.   Stages and times when we put on masks and pretend to be someone we aren’t.   Pretend to do the right thing when we don’t.  The world watches as we act out our little play, but then God comes on stage and we talk about the fraud I have been.  The lie I have tried to hide.   The deeds I have done.  

Each of us lives out our own little play.   Each of us experiences a time when God has left the building and we are left alone to our own choices, but soon, when the curtain opens for the next act, God steps on stage and the truth comes out.   How can we think that our masks hide anything?   Everyone else is wearing a mask, everyone knows we wear one too.   Why not surprise the audience and be who you really are, be honest and trust God for the results?   I know a few people who are taking off the masks and living their lives for all to see.   How wonderful it would be to hear God say, as He comes on the next stage of your life and the curtain rises for the final act and says, “Well done…” 

That is my prayer as I now move on into this next stage of my life.  I can’t wait to see how it turns out.